Meet our pastry chef, Maria!

 

Who’s behind all those incredible morning pastries, lunchtime cookies and homemade desserts? We thought we would introduce you to our newest addition to our kitchen.

Has baking been a passion for you all your life?

            When I was little, I would help my family make whatever I could, even if that just meant playing in the sink and doing dishes. I loved it all. I remember rolling meatballs for Christmas with my B (grandmother) and helping her bake whoopie pies for her friend’s wedding. My favorite thing to make was chocolate no-bake cookies with my mom. The best part was licking the pot and the spoon while the cookies set up. I loved cooking so much that when I was four years old, Santa even brought me my own plastic kitchen set. But that didn’t stop me from helping in the real kitchen.

What is your background?

            My culinary schooling started when I was in high school. I spent half of my day’s junior and senior years at United Technologies Center in Bangor, ME. While there I competed in a national baking completion SkillsUSA and placed second in the state. After High School I continued my culinary journey at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. There I earned my associate degree in Baking and Pastry Arts in May of 2017. With that degree I did an internship at the European Bakery in Falmouth, ME. After my internship I stayed with the baker working two days a week for the summer prior to my junior year. After getting my associate degree I continued at JWU to earn my bachelor’s degree in food and Beverage Entrepreneurship in November of 2018.

            While in high school and college I worked in the bakery and customer service of Hannaford supermarket. There I worked mostly as a cake decorator. I also worked at the Cross-Insurance Center in Bangor during this time as Event staff. At the Cross center I would always bring in trays of baked good for my co-workers during the Bangor State Fair. My co workers were broken hearted when they found out I wasn’t going to be at this year’s fair with my goodies. I have spoiled them for the past seven years.

What do you love about what you do?

            I love watching people smile as they enjoy their pastry. My favorite part is when a certain goodie strikes a sense of nostalgia with a person and then they share a story form their past with you. For instance, say a molasses cookie reminds you of the ones your grandmother would make for Christmas.

What makes Attean special to you?

            I like Attean because it is a mix of my favorite things, baking and the Maine outdoors. I love the pace of life up here. I also treasure the opportunities to speak with guest about my pastries or to just here their stories. I truly find myself very lucky to be able the wake up, bake a few hour and then be able to just paddle across the lake, go for a hike and then come back and help with dinner.

            The atmosphere in the kitchen here is also a lot of fun. Where it is a smaller staff, we really get to know each other. Most of the time we are joking with each other, sometimes to the point of tears.

What is your favorite thing to make?

            I think that my favorite thing to make right now is cakes. There are just so many flavor possibilities to play with. Since I have been at Attean I haven’t made the same cake twice. I love to play around with different frostings and fillings.

What is your dream for your future?

            My dream is to someday open my own Bakery. I want to get some more experience and I love learning from other people as well. Currently my plan is to open the bakery somewhere near my hometown of Brewer, ME.

Got any baking tips for us?

            A few tips I have learned is to always frost a frozen cake layer to prevent crumbs in your frosting and that cornstarch is your best friend when making a pie, but just make sure you bring it to a boil.

Deep in the Maine Wilderness, Global Technology Finds Inspiration

Written by Jim Cavan, CEO and President of Backpack Health

Backpack Health is all about connection.  Our health management platform connects people to their own health information, as well as resources and information that can help them better navigate their health journeys, and allows them to connect with medical professionals, researchers, and rare disease communities that can provide the support they require.  But while our team is always focused on brining people together, we are rarely ever in the same room.  That’s why our weeklong retreat at Attean Lake Lodge was such an important event for a global healthcare tech company.   

Nestled in the Maine’s picturesque and serene wilderness, the Attean Lake Lodge provided our team with the ideal opportunity to take a break from our usual, jam packed schedules and reconnect with each other, and ourselves.

Read the full testimonial here

10 Things You Need to Know Before Booking Your Trip to Attean Lake Lodge!

 

  1. Know our Location. We are located on an island with no electricity. The cabins have gaslights and kerosene lanterns. Our lodge has electricity 24/7 run by solar power and we run a generator during breakfast and dinner times.

           

  1. Each cabin has a special view. All of our cabins have an amazing water view. Each with a front porch where you can enjoy the most picture perfect sunsets on earth! 

 

  1. We aren’t as rustic as some people think! Each cabin has a full bath with hot running water. Housekeepers will tidy up your cabin each morning and will leave you with fresh towels. 

 

  1. When would you like to visit? Our busiest months are July and August with larger families. June and September tend to be quieter with mostly couples.

 

  1. Don’t over pack! But we do recommend bringing the following:
  • Sunscreen & sunglasses
  • Bugs spray
  • Snacks and drinks (we do provide chips, fruit and a cookie with your lunch and a thermos with iced tea, lemonade or water.)
  • Clothing for all weather

 

  1. Take advantage of free activities! We provide paddle boards, canoes and kayaks at no cost! We also offer tubing on nice days. If you want to leave the island, be sure to explore our many hiking trails in the area!

 

  1. We do charge for a couple things… We have rental boats for you to use for a small fee per day and we also charge for beer and wine.

 

  1. Save room for dessert! Our baker makes delicious homemade desserts every night. You don’t want to miss our blueberry pie or our crème brulee!

 

  1. Please inform us. Let us know if you have food allergies or a special diet so that we can plan accordingly. We recognize that food allergies and special diets are more common than ever and we will go to great lengths to make sure everyone is safe.

 

  1. RELAX... We want your stay at Attean Lake Lodge to be as therapeutic and relaxing as possible. If you are ready for a break from your busy life, this is the getaway for you! You will wake up to the sounds of the birds chirping and fall asleep to the sound of the loons. We promise, you will leave here feeling refreshed! 

 

     

A family tradition on Sally Mountain

The Siy family has been joining us since 2011, and when they first arrived at the dock, Karl (our dock manager), made a bet that when he saw them at the end of the week they would have reserved again for the following year. Karl won that bet and the family has enjoyed a tradition of spending some quality time here every July since. Every year one of their many adventures always includes a hike up Sally mountain. The trail begins at the beach head across the lake from the lodge. It's a healthy 2 mile or so hike to the top. A look out spot just before the summit allows a beautiful view of Birch Island - the home to Attean lodge and the cabins. This special look out spot has been a place where they take an annual family selfie photo - and is almost always included on their holiday card!

There are a couple hiking options. You can return down the way you came up, or you can make it a bit longer by taking the ridge trail down to arrive at Salmon Point beach (located down within the narrows area of the lake). It's about 4 miles all total and we can bring your boat from the initial trial head beach over to Salmon Point beach (you just need to make sure we know about your plans!). Along the hike you'll see all different kinds of forest, blueberries if in season and usually plenty signs of moose.

The Siy family over the years at the lookout point:

 

Attean Blueberry Pie

Attean Blueberry Pie Recipe:
 
For the crust - Mix 2 1/2 cups of flour and 11/4 tsp of salt in a large bowl. Using two forks cut 6 tbsp of butter and 3/4 cups of shortening into the mixture. Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of iced water and stir with a rubber spatula. Transfer to a floured work surface and form into a ball and divide in half. Refrigerate for two hours. 
**Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
 
For the Filling - Stir 6 cups of blueberries (Maine blueberries if you have them of course!), 2/3 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tbsp of lemon juice in large bowl. 
Roll out the chilled pie dough and carefully place into a 9x2 inch pie dish. Spoon the filling into the crust. Dot the top of the filling with pieces of butter. Top with the remaining dough. Make sure to cut slits in the top to form steam vents. Crimp the edges. Place into the oven and bake for 1 hour.
 
Enjoy!
 
Or you can just come visit us so you don't have to make it yourself!

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